In May of 2015, Ebony was pregnant with her third child when her doctor declared it a high risk pregnancy due to a prior health condition. She was put on medical leave, but with Ebony’s minimum wage job, that meant having to quit entirely. She wasn’t sure how she was going to make it. The father of the baby was living with her at the time, but was unemployed and was not excited about the pregnancy.
Then she heard Catholic Charities had just reopened their Pregnancy Help Center in Chattanooga. She was eight weeks pregnant. Last month, Ebony became the center’s second client to graduate from the program as together they celebrated her son’s second birthday. She came to the center with her cousin to use up the rest of her baby bucks. They jokingly laughed at Ebony’s emotional state as she held back her tears. “I’m not sure what I would’ve done without Catholic Charities,” she exclaimed.
It was through the center’s Earn While You Learn program that Ebony was able to purchase a car seat, bouncer, stroller, walker, baby gate, and lots of diapers, wipes, and clothing for her son. But she got more than baby products. Ebony learned how to be a stern but loving parent to her older girls, and through the program’s videos and homework she realized there were issues in her past that she needed counseling on.
Ebony is now not only a better mom, but a stronger person. She has earned her GED, holds a job as a home health assistant and is more aware of what a healthy relationship looks like. “I learned so much here….I now have the tools to feel successful,” she stated.